Federal Judge suspends auction and Belo Monte license

Federal judge of Altamira (state of Pará) agreed with the Federal Public Ministry in one of the public civil suits dealing with irregularities in the venture of the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric.

The Federal Court ordered the suspension of the preliminary license for the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam and the cancellation of the auction, scheduled for next Tuesday (20/04). Judge Antonio Carlos de Almeida Campelo granted a preliminary injunction (urgent) seeing "danger of irreparable harm" considering the immanency of the auction.

The decision is the result of the assessment of one of two public civil actions filed by federal prosecutors dealing with irregularities of the enterprise. It focuses specifically on the lack of regulation of Article 176 of the Federal Constitution of Brazil, which requires the issueing of an ordinary law for the use of hydraulic potential on Indian lands.

"It remains proven unequivocally that the Belo Monte hydroelectric will exploit the hydro energetic potential in areas occupied by indigenous people who will be directly affected by the construction and development of the project," the judge said in the decision.

In addition to suspending the previous license and canceling the auction, the judge agreed with the other measures required by the prosecutors of the Public Ministry: that the environmental agency IBAMA refrain from issuing a new license, that the National Electric Energy Agency Aneel refrains from making new edict and that the BNDES, as well as the enterprises Norberto Odebrecht, Camargo Corrêa, Andrade Gutierrez, Vale do Rio Doce, J Malucelli Insurance Company, Fator Insurance company and the UBF Seguros insurance company be notified of the decision.

The notification says the judge is "to take notice that, while the merits of this complaint have not been judged, they may respond to environmental crime." The companies are also subject to the same penalty arbitrated against Aneel and IBAMA in the event of noncompliance with the decision: a fine of 1 million Brazilian real, to be reverted to the affected indigenous peoples.

The MPF is still awaiting trial of another public civil suit, also filed last week, questioning irregularities in the environmental permit granted to the Belo Monte hydroelectric.

Ministério Público Federal - Procuradoria da República

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